Gleanings – The Whole is More Important than the Parts

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

“So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.”

The whole is more important than the parts. Discern the Body Paul says. Discern the Body.

There is a place for the church above its members. It is not the place to live out what our culture teaches us, every man for himself. Paul is deeply disturbed by the individual conduct which does not appreciate the whole. People begin to eat and drink the bread and wine before everyone has arrived. Consequently the early arrivers are full and drunk. The latecomers are both hungry and thirsty. Those without are humiliated. No one cared for them properly.

By their actions, the early arrivers are heaping judgment upon themselves. They profane the meal, the Lord’s Supper, by consuming it in a way that violates the Body. Should they be commended? Emphatically, Paul says “no.”

Imagine church, the public gathering or assembly, so small or at least so intimate, that we are aware when anyone is missing. Years ago I read that the Church at Corinth was likely 150 people or 3 house churches of 50. Now if 50 or even 150 people gather weekly, the members will know when someone is absent. Concern would be immediate and known to all. Care would not be farmed out to a privileged or professional class. It would be felt and administered by all. This is church as intended. It is bar by which all church life should be measured.



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